Synthetic Quartz Crystal

Synthetic is terminology used by the USBM for laboratory grown gemstones. Others in the gemstones industry may use different terms to refer to laboratory grown gemstones. Laboratory grown synthetic gemstones have essentially the same appearance and optical, physical, and chemical properties as the natural material that they represent. Synthetic gemstones produced in the United States include alexandrite, coral, diamond, emerald, garnet, lapis lazuli, quartz, ruby, sapphire, spinel, and turquoise.

Quartz crystals are grown in a hydrothermal solution in large pressure vessels known as autoclaves. Careful control of temperature and pressure in the different areas of the autoclave result in the feed material, known as lascas, dissolving in the hotter portion. The material redeposits on seed crystals, located in the cooler portion, forming synthetic quartz crystals. The process usually takes 30 to 60 days for the crystals to reach the desired size. The process can produce rock crystal, amethyst, and citrine, or in some cases blue or green quartz with NO natural counterpart. The same system is used to grow beryl crystals.
The following photos (were taken under polarizscope) show the differences of optic charateristics between glass (or quartz glass) and nature quartz crystal (or synthetic quartz crystal).


Glass round beads

synthetic or nature quartz crystal round beads

Nature rutilated quartz crystal